Review Of "Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition To Consciousness" By D. R. Griffin

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Almost 30 years ago, Griffin, famous for his studies of bats and echolocation, risked his scientific reputation by urging the serious investigation of animals' cognitive abilities. Since then, the field of animal cognition has grown exponentially. In this major revision of his 1984 book Animal Thinking (CH, Sep'84), Griffin summarizes three decades of work that he initiated and then extends the investigation from cognition to consciousness. This book is valuable for the perspective of the author (he accepts only objective, repeatable data), the breadth of scope (he considers everything from insects to chimpanzees), and his efforts to present both sides of the controversy. The first chapters discuss the problems and methods of the study of animal consciousness. The major part of the book reviews evidence from fields as diverse as neurobiology and animal social behavior (other authors consider only a few species and only a narrow range of methods). Final chapters consider the scientific and ethical implications of animal consciousness. The style is nontechnical and easily accessible to laypersons. There is much new information; it is likely to remain the basic reference work for a decade or more. Extensive bibliography. This book should be in the collection of any college or postgraduate library. All levels.


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